Friday, April 08, 2011

Single Reviews 10/04/11

In a week where Big Brother climbs out of its fresh grave in search of brains and where ‘LOL’ has made it into the dictionary (but ‘lolcat’ has not – blasphemy!), we continue to turn pop culture on its head by saying something nice about Mika in this week’s Single Reviews. Not really! He’s not even around anymore. Hopefully he’s been dropped. Down a well. But we digress.

While the return of The Strokes probably has the NME offices cracking open the party poppers, it invokes a mere “oh, ok then” round these parts. Their absence doesn’t display much in the way of progress, with Under Cover of Darkness utterly drenched in the quintessential Strokes sound. But what they do, they do very well indeed.

Out-grottying Ke$ha – if such a thing is even imaginable – is California rentahook Dev. In fairness, Bass Down Low proves she’s got very much her own style, and brings to the table an attitude not many could pull off. But it’s difficult to imagine a whole album of aloof, understated beats and surly monotone ramblings about different alcohol brands.

But such laidback stylings are a Godsend compared to the try-hard cheddarfest of Girls Will Be Girls, the debut – and probably only – single from one-time X Factor contenders The Ultra Girls. And being passed up by Louis Walsh in favour of Kandy Rain and Jedward seems to have been the right decision, peddling cheap, garish, throwaway pop which might as well be vintage Girls @ Play.

And we end with our Single of the Week, taken from an album already looking like a contender for one of 2011’s best offerings. 1983 may not wield the same sophistication as previous single Animal, but it underlines Neon Trees as bona fide candidates for greatness with its monstrous pop chorus and brawny rock foundations. We’ll just overlook the slightly sucky video.

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